Bitcoin believers found something to celebrate this week as the original cryptocurrency briefly touched US $50,000 for the first time since the middle of May this year. During the intervening quarter the coin took a bit of a battering, falling below $30,000 at one stage so this was great news for Bitcoin.
It didn’t manage to hold on to 50k but has consolidated around $48,000 and there is reason to believe it could break higher soon.
As usually happens, Ethereum behaved in much the same way as Bitcoin, climbing steadily upwards, then spiking on Monday before settling back to a higher, stable level around the $3,200 mark.
But the big story of the week was no doubt Cardano (ADA). If you see people out there walking around looking smug and very pleased with themselves, it’s probably because they bought Cardano a month ago. If so, they’ve enjoyed a 124% rise in value of their coin since then. In the last seven days alone, it added approximately 35% in value to land on $2.73 at the time of writing. Around midnight on Tuesday, the Cardano price nearly hit $3 which is a big milestone for them.
All this activity has made Cardano the third biggest coin by market cap behind Bitcoin and Ethereum. IOG is the tech company that develops the software for the Cardano protocol, and on Friday, the marketing and comms director, Tim Harrison, tweeted this bullish statement , “I think what many people don’t understand about #Cardano is the sheer scale of our ambition. And our absolute determination to make it happen. But those who know, know”
That’s definitely one to watch closely.
Of course, the price of coins is one of the most important indicators of the health of the market, but if one is able to zoom out a little you start to see how much positive activity is going on behind the scenes. New products, new wallets and a better user experience are announced almost every single day as the cryptocurrency industry starts to mature and become more mainstream.
Some of the most interesting work in the crypto space is happening around NFTs or non-fungible tokens. If you’ve spent any time watching the industry lately, you will have come across this term and perhaps you’ve wondered what it means.
In a nutshell, an NFT is basically data is accounted for in a ledger on a blockchain which represents something specific, such as an artwork or a piece of music etc…It cannot just be swapped for another token. For example, Bitcoin is fungible. You can swap one coin for another and you’ll still have exactly the same thing. But when it’s non-fungible, it’s the only one in the world and therefore will have to be swapped for something else.
That’s the technology behind it, and as a result, it’s turning out to be well suited to specific ‘pieces of digital art which are sold on digital exchanges, or auction platforms, for crypto. Deals are being announced all the time now. The Verge magazine reports that ‘Grimes is the latest artist to get in on the NFT gold rush, selling around $6 million worth of digital artworks after putting them up for auction yesterday.
A series of 10 pieces — some one of a kind, others with thousands of copies — went up for sale on Nifty Gateway on February 28th. The highest-selling piece was a one-of-a-kind video called “Death of the Old” that involves flying cherubs, a cross, a sword, and glowing light that’s set to an original song by Grimes. The winning bidder took it for nearly $389,000.’
Twitter founder Jack Dorsey sold his first tweet as an NFT. Rock band Kings of Leon sold their latest album as one. The most expensive NFT ever sold cost a staggering $69 million dollars! Even Jay Z bought a Crypto Punk and used it as his new Twitter icon, which is surely a sign that it will go mainstream soon. Crypto Punks is a fascinating concept, they are ‘10,000 uniquely generated characters. No two are exactly alike, and each one of them can be officially owned by a single person. CryptoPunks was released in June 2017 as one of the first non-fungible tokens on the Ethereum blockchain.’
I saw an explanation about NFT’s which really helped me understand it better. Remember going to the zoo and seeing a sign that said an animal had been adopted? Which meant that someone was paying for the costs of the animal and had a right to claim it as theirs. Of course, everyone else can see and enjoy the animal in the zoo, but technically, it belongs to one person.
That’s how it is with NFT’s. You buy a piece of artwork, and you have the original of it. Everyone else can share it and enjoy it but you own it and you can see it on to a collector for a handsome profit if you choose to do so. This is one of the first breakthrough applications that take use of blockchain and cryptocurrency and could not happen without them.
Author: Jeremy Daniel